Promoting Private Sector Employment

SMEs that operate in competitive and well-organized economic sectors, where public policies better match private sector needs, provide increased sustainable gainful employment for women and men in Kosovo.

Kosovo has grown moderately at an average rate of 3% in the last few years and is constantly facing growing labour force. The positive economic trends fall short to generate number of jobs needed to absorb those entering the market every year (around 30,000). Youth, women and minorities (particularly Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian minorities) remain most excluded groups. Formal employment makes around 75% (269,500 employees) of the overall employment, with public sector accounting for 25% of formal jobs. Lack of SME innovation as well as lack of relevant and affordable market support services are limiting SME growth. On the other hand, sustainable sector growth has the highest potential to create SMEs and employment opportunities. Therefore, private sector development and job creation remains the main goals of SDC and of the Kosovo Government.

Project duration
2017 - 2021

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The project

The project contributes to innovations and credible visible changes in the Food and Natural Ingredients and Tourism sectors respectively. Building upon the objectives, achievements, and lessons learned of Phase I, in this current phase 2017 – 2021 the project will tackle private sector development and job creation with more emphasis on youth, women and minorities.

The Food and Natural Ingredients sector facilitates and supports opportunities in fresh and processed sectors of fruits and vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants, and confectionary. Activities in this sector seek to improve the range and diversification of products, improve competitiveness of market actors; develop marketing and certification services, improve promotion and sales of products in local segments, and boost export.

The Tourism sector aims to directly contribute to increased numbers of tourists, who spend more and stay longer in the destination, thus leading to more income and employment. Activities in this sector seek to support development of new products throughout Kosovo, improvement of touristic attractions, intensified international tourism promotion, and provide short-term trainings for specialized tourism-related occupations.

The Opportunity Fund is an additional co-funding mechanism that aims to bring systemic change within the companies by testing out innovative ideas in sectors that PPSE work in. The Social Inclusion Fund supports private sector employment creation for the minority communities and other socially excluded groups, with particular focus on Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian.

PPSE collaborates and seeks synergies with the business sector, business organizations, central and local level public institutions, other donor agencies and projects.

Project goals

  1. Gainful and inclusive employment is created for young people, women and minorities in dynamic SMEs in growing selected sectors, which aims to facilitate the employment generation for the youth, women and minorities within the private sector at development and growth of the selected sectors; and
  2. SMEs improve their offer, efficiency and competitiveness in improved and better organized inclusive market systems, which aims at improving the businesses development service provision, organization and networking in the selected sectors to enable the SMEs to benefit from improved services and environment.

Project partner

  • Riinvest Institute


Results until end of 2020:

  • The latest 2020 figures show that since the beginning of PPSE Phase II (November 2017) the project supported interventions have generated 1,135 additional full-time jobs.
  • 3,821 women and men have been gainfully employed (benefit outreach). Of them, 36% are women and 7% are members of minority communities.
  • 3,821 people have generated CHF 6,26M in income.
  • 611 new farmers are involved in contracted farming, using over 1,130 additional hectares of land.
  • 220 small and medium enterprises have benefitted by increasing net income by CHF 2,610,960. The SMEs have invested CHF 5,61M.
  • In both Food and Natural Ingredients and Tourism sector, the number of resulting new products and services available has reached 225.
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Women of Resilience and Vision
It is a common story in post-war Kosovo; after re-building homes and lives, once their children grow up and become independent, women find there are other ways to help families and communities to thrive. Often, that new path in life leads them to a profitable business activity, whatever it was that kept the family going through the most trying times.


An Alliance Between Media and Institutions to Promote Tourism in COVID-19 Times
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new reality in the tourism sector. In Kosovo, the new reality manifested also through the promotion of Kosovo as a destination, with a greater focus on regional tourists.
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Kosovo Entrepreneur Brings Nut Based Products to the Market
The cozy store of ‘Pelini’s’ in Prishtina contains a rich list of delightful and healthy products: various types of nuts, fresh butter instantly made using nuts, cold pressed oil from nuts, dried fruit, types of flour, these being ingredients that are increasingly becoming part of a healthy-living diet.  
Sustainable agriculture
Ensuring Farmers Continue Production of High-Quality Vegetables
Unexpected weather changes or other disruptions – such as the Covid-19 breakout – result in farmers in Kosovo being unable to meet the demand for vegetables and fruits. This in turn, affects farmers’ income and livelihood. Since 2014, the project from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) implemented by Swisscontact Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE) in Kosovo is working closely with this sector to introduce and consolidate the contract farming system.